"As long as we are not chased from our words we have nothing to fear. As long as our utterances keep their sound we have a voice. As long as our words keep their sense we have a soul." -- Edmond Jabes, from The Book of Yukel, Return to the Book

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dispatches: And the loser is....

Dispatches -- my second-straight healthcare column, this one on coverage of the debate -- is available here.

1 comment:

reinkefj said...

"Americans spent $7,289 per capita in 2006 compared with Norway’s per capita figure of $4,763. Canada, which has a single-payer system, spends $3,895 per capita."

I'm just a fat old white guy injineer. But, you've got apples and oranges comparison here. You're comparing the semi-socialist USA with the more socialist N and C. AND, then telling us that "it's twice as bad".

Sorry, but we have the worst of both worlds. Federal interference in the drug market place. Regulation of everything in sight "medical" at all levels of gooferment -- federal, state, county, and municipality -- adds enormous costs. Not all of which are accounted for. The costs are indeciperable.

I'm frustrated trying to demonstrate it to you.

Let's compare insurance marketplaces. Medical insurance is disaster. Car insurance is better than medical, but still costly. Life insurance is cheap, and other than fiscal solvency, basically unregulated.

One problem is that "medical insurance" is more like pre-paid medical care; rather than "insurance". Another problem is that the cost of regulation and bureaucracy is extraordinary. Pay a doctor in cash and you'll find 50 to 75% discounts. Finally, drugs are the "technology" that will flatten the medical cost curve. But FDA and BigPharma are conspiring to keep the cost of entry high. Also, the FDA gets criticism if an "unsafe" drug gets out, but none if it never gets out at all.

Look at how we do "medical care" with all the government intervention. I have cold, sunburn, or a sprain. I need to go to the government licensed doctor, to get a prescription on a government approved form, take it to the government licensed pharmacy, where a government licensed druggist dispenses something aking to an aspirin. Note, I left out the government licensed and government regulated insurance company.

Argh! Recently, I got sunburned in a Third World Country island. I went to the local gas station and bought some lidocaine-laced aloe gel after consulting with the gas jockey (about the cost in US dollars). Also, recently, on a different trip, I was in a First World Country in Europe with a headache, needed an asparin, and went to the "drug store" to find out that I had to have "a script from a doctor" to buy such a "powerful drug". Are you kidding me?

Finally, "We, The People" are free to do anything we want with OUR bodies. It's the essence of self-ownership. If I want medical advice from an "unlicensed" provider and put "unapproved" drugs into it, that's my business. Not the gooferment's.

Keep your gooferment out of my body, my health, and my business. It's only role is protect my rights from being abridged by force or fraud. "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed .."